4 books to read during Black History Month

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

We believe that knowledge and understanding open the door to change. This is why we promote that one of the most important ways to honour Black History Month is by learning more about our shared history through books, events and other resources, especially if you are white.

It’s so important that we look beyond the one-sided, rose-tinted narrative that is often shared by governments and in schools, and that we search for more critical analysis of our history and don’t shy away from the gruesome reality of how our nations came to be. By facing the truth of our existence head on, we can start to understand what needs to change in order to move towards a fully anti-racist world.

That’s why we wanted to curate a reading list of the books which have had greatest impact of our knowledge and understanding of Black history, particularly in the UK. Regardless of our ethnicities, Black history is ALL of our history and we all have a duty of care to know and understand it.

Natives by Akala

This book is a powerful contribution towards an understanding of race and class over a variety of historical eras. It’s presented in a unique style of memoir meets history lesson and it taught us more about the realities of Britain’s Imperial past than we were ever taught in schools, and shines an important light on the one-sided, rose-tinted narrative that’s forced upon us.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad

This book was adapted from a hugely impactful 28-day course run by Layla on social media. It is a personal anti-racism guide, targeted at white readers, which aims to aid them in identifying their contribution to and the impact of white privilege and white supremacy over their lives, and the lives of people of colour.

Why I’m No Longer Speaking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

What started as a article by the same name, which went viral, is now a bestselling book. It’s author, Reni Eddo-Lodge, also delves into Britain’s history of race and class, but with commentary on how the majority of white people refuse to accept the legitimacy of structural racism and its symptoms.

The Good Ally by Nova Reid

The newest addition to our bookshelves was released last month and comes from Nova Reid — activist, TED speaker and author, with a mission to improve racial justice globally. This book is tipped as the essential guide for anyone looking to be part of the change and provides the tools required to combat systemic racism. We can’t wait to finish it.

We hope you find something useful in these great reads, and before I finish this article, here’s a few other ways that you can honour Black History Month:

  • Support black-owned businesses with your wallet
  • Learn about lesser known Black change makers
  • Donate to charities that support anti-racism and equality
  • Write to your MP to ask how they are supporting anti-racism in your constituency
  • Watch and share documentaries about Black History
  • Attend and participate in local events

About the author

Nat is one of two co-founders at The Future Kind Collective which exists to build a world that is kinder, fairer and more creative, where all people have the opportunity to do great things.

Nat is a purpose-driven strategist, empathetic people leader, designer of cultures, services and companies. She is passionate about lifetime learning, compassionate leadership and inclusive cultures.

Nat started her career in digital strategy, where she applied service design to the strategic development of the NatWest mobile banking app. In 2016, she joined SPARCK, a design consultancy, as their third employee, where she was influential in shaping and growing it into a mature organisation.

Throughout her consultancy career, Nat has led projects with varied clients including Insights, Amnesty International, BP, Vocalink (of MasterCard), DVSA, Fidelity, HSBC, ITV and Pizza Hut.

About The Future Kind Collective

The Future Kind Collective is a purpose-driven consultancy which exists to build a world that is kinder, fairer and more creative, where all people have the opportunity to do great things.

We help start-ups and scale-ups to define their purpose, design their culture and grow their impact, while also embedding the skills they need to unlock their power.

We’re here to challenge the existing consultancy model and prove that by putting people and purpose first, you can create businesses that are more profitable, impactful and equitable.

To find out more or to chat over a challenge you’re grappling with, get in touch at hello@thefuturekind.co

We’d love to hear from you!

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